Thursday, December 18, 2014

Putin's Blues Prove Obama Is Great At Foreign Policy

So the Russian economy is melting down like various Soviet era nuclear reactors. Meanwhile we get to hear from Republican politicians and much of the foreign policy pundit community that President Obama is "bad" at foreign policy.

I feel like this is two trends intersecting. In our age of highly polarized political parties it makes sense to always attack the president always, for any reason you can come up with. The Middle East descending into chaos is obviously a good way to do this.

The other trend is for pundits to announce that basically everything that happens in the world is due to the foreign policy of the President. It's Green Lanterism, or maybe American self-obsession, writ large. Thus the "Arab Spring" was a great vindication of the policies of George W. Bush, until it started to not go well, and then it was proof that Obama was a feckless cretin.

The universal theme in Arab Spring punditry was of course, America. The idea that the political upheavals in Egypt were do to the choices, actions, and agency of 80 million Egyptians was of course ignored.

It's like reading Cosmopolitan Magazine's latest piece on how to get boys to like you, at the end of the day, it's all about me.

Which brings me back to the theme of Russian economic tribulations. Isn't the whole Russia meltdown a great example of how the idea of strengthening and enlarging global liberal institutions of the world was correct? We don't need to "arm moderates" or invade Russia in response to Crimean aggression, instead the liberal world order of states acting fairly inside international institutional constraints works very well.

That is to say the obvious way for Russia to deal with it's economic problems would be to run to the IMF for a bailout, but of course they can't do that. Putin has told everyone in the world that they can go fuck themselves time and time again. The world is now responding that he is in fact the person that can in fact go fuck himself.

Anyway I think Obama's foreign policy is going great.